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Review Sun Apr 19 2015

Record Store Day 2015 Recap

rsd 2015 small.jpgDespite the long lines,craziness, flippers, and stress that comes with Record Store Day there is still that sense of community with the record lover's holiday. The day continues to be a celebration of record stores and of the people that come together to talk and purchase the music they enjoy. Now that the third Saturday of April is behind us and a bit of the dust has settled, Emily Ornberg and I give our impressions on RSD 2015 with our experiences from waiting in line for great finds to some disappointments.

RSD wide large 2015.jpg"We've been waiting in line since 2 a.m.," an eager vinyl collector croaks to me from the crowd outside of Dave's Records on a sunny Saturday morning. Her eyes are halfway open, makeup smeared, hair greasy and smile unwavering. She is the physical representation of hungover, yet somehow exuding the cheer of Christmas morning. "But we got some free cupcakes!"

outside of daves.jpegShe and her boyfriend lingered among hundreds of music geeks on the sidewalk through the wee hours of the morning sharing bottles of whiskey and beers in the name of Record Store Day. Finally, at around 9:15 a.m., the doors were unlocked and the crate-diggers politely barreled through the doors in hopes to score upwards of $400 of limited edition vinyl.

Luckily Dave's annual rulebook kept the crowd somewhat organized: only allowing a handful of collectors in at a time, and fetching their Record Store Day releases per request. By the time I made it through the gates, the crowd was continuing to grow, but Dave, a 30-year veteran, was still behind the counter smiling and fondling his beard.

The charm of Dave's Records, one of Chicago's most beloved music emporiums, is its quaintness. It's about the size of an average living room, stuffed to the ceiling with crates of everything from disco 12-inches to indie rarities. But the store's narrow size only created an added obstacle today--at times forcing the shoppers to perform a competitive game of human leapfrog to secure their LP treasures.

haul.JPGConveniently, my tax return showed up in my bank account just days before the annual holiday, so I scored nearly every item on my wish list, including a The Replacements EP and a Rick Ross single. I was even able to snag a free poster and a discounted Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) as I made my way toward the counter.

A look inside Reckless Records in Lakeview

Later in the day, I breezed through the Lakeview location of Reckless Records though it had been mostly picked over. As the day winded down, the energy settled, the in-store performances wrapped up and the music geeks trotted home with treasures in hand.

But after such an eventful morning, I plan to be back next year in time for the free cupcakes.

- Emily Ornberg

rsd line daves.jpg
The line outside of Dave's Records

I've been going to Dave's for Record Store Day since 2011 (save for 2012, but not from lack of trying) and it's always a great experience. After so many years it's great to see and talk with familiar faces, even if only in passing, and meet new ones. So I knew from the get go that I would be heading out there and standing in line awaiting Dave and crew to open the doors bright and early. However, I didn't get up early quite early enough. Those previous years that I attended Dave's for RSD, arriving around 6am was good enough to get me in the first 15 to 20 people in line. Not too far back and not upfront like those how camped out, but close enough. This year I was much closer to the end of the block, right as it turns away from the small alley. I'm not sure if it was the nice weather, Dave's welcoming atmosphere, the ever rising popularity of vinyl, or a mix of the three, but the line at Dave's Records was enormous and a little rowdy in a few sections. There was a little bottle throwing, some drunken antics, but nothing too bad to distract from the day.

rsdhaul1.jpgMy musical tastes are reasonably eclectic, so this means two very bad things for me. First is that my RSD wishlist is huge. I use my birthday as an excuse for the splurging as it always falls within a few days of RSD. It lifts some of the burden off my mind of dipping so far into my wallet for some of these records. Granted, having such a big list can also mean some disappointment, which would be the second bad thing. Often times the people ahead of me will be the ones to inadvertently take the responsibility I have chosen to neglect and whittle my list down. Only Father John Misty's I Loved You Honey Bee, Brian Eno's My Squelchy Life, and Brand New's Deja Entendu eluded my grasp, for better or worse.

rsdhaul2.jpgWhat I did end up getting I felt like I was more than lucky enough to get. After the first few people stepped out with the goodies, it became pretty obvious what the biggest seller of the day was going to be the White Stripes. Nearly every bag I saw come out had a copy of Get Behind Me Satan before I even got a chance to dictate my list to Dave. Luckily I snagged one before it sold out. I wasn't too worried about missing out on things like Swans, Neko Case, and the Decembrists, but after looking at Dave's leftover list, maybe I should have.

rasd haul3.jpgWhat didn't surprise me was that the bulk of my purchases were soundtracks. Maybe I just wasn't paying that much attention, but it seems that modern soundtracks have only recently gained a footing and I'm glad they did. It's hard for me to pick just one of the soundtracks that I was most anticipating. Brian Reitzell has quickly become a favorite of mine thanks to his work on Hannibal and the 30 Days of Night score is severely underrated; the music from Frank is as weirdly beautiful as the film, but I think The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack may lead the charge for me. I've been anxious to get Wes Anderson's soundtracks on vinyl after last year's rumors of ABCKO re-releasing them and the record community's subsequent jumping to the assumption that they would be on wax. This tiny piece of the puzzle definitely appeases my thirst and simultaneously leaves me wanting more.

This has been by far my most successful Record Store Day and while I know there may be naysayers, I still think that the initial idea of supporting local record shops and cultivating the community is still alive .
-Julian Ramirez

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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